During the spring of this year the BBC put out a three part series called Rule Britannia! devoted to music in Georgian Britain. It seems incredible that the makers of such a programme could put it together without a mention of William Boyce, John Stanley or Thomas Linley. This could not have been accidental.

4 thoughts on “BBC

  1. Dear Roger, thanks for flagging this up. This is what I found annoying about that wretched Starkey Royal Music programme too-although it brought up a great deal of interesting stuff and generally good performers, Starkey was content to trot out the rubbish and Victorian hakf-truths based on Hawkins. Was Donald Burrows consulted on the Chapel Royal stuff in the Georgian period? He really shows how neck-and-neck it became for Greene and Handel in the 1730’s, after Greene’s humiliating treatment at the Coronation of George II. Nor was there any proper discussion of the ferment in the field of oratorio in that decade amongst British composers who perhaps knew Handel’s Esther; Handel’s ‘comeback’ with a vengeance is described so well in Matthew Gardner’s book on the Apollo Society. I love Handel, but he couldn’t have survived but for the support of the Hanover lot, and the generosity and friendly competition of his British colleagues, to whom Handel was not always generous in return.

    • Many thanks for your thoughts on this. I agree that the Starkey Royal Music programme was just as disappointing. The BBC seem determined to play down the role of Boyce, Stanley, Greene etc. in Britain’s cultural history.

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